People with sensitive teeth may soon have a new reason to smile: Scientists have made great strides toward preventing tooth sensitivity using a substance similar to the adhesive that mussels use to attach to rocks and other surfaces in water.
The development, reported in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, could soon offer relief for the estimated three in four people whose teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks.SPECIAL: 4 Bodily Signs a Heart Attack Is Near. See Them Now!
Tooth pain and discomfort usually occurs when the hard outer enamel layer on teeth and the softer underlying dentin wear away, leaving sensitive nerves exposed. Some special toothpastes and gums can help reduce the hyper-sensitivity, but they don’t alleviate the problem.
Researchers from the Anhui Medical University and University of Hong Kong found that the sticky material similar to the adhesive mussels use to adhere to surfaces helped dentin and enamel to rebuild in teeth — effectively alleviating the sensitivity.
Lead researchers Quan-Li Li and Chun Hung Chu said their laboratory tests — which found bathing human teeth with worn-away enamel and dentin in liquid containing the sticky material helped rebuild them — point the way to developing a new treatment for the millions of people with sensitive teeth.
The substance "may be a simple universal technique to induce enamel and dentin remineralization simultaneously," they concluded.